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Charitable Organization Questions Answered

Charitable Organization Questions Answered

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Charitable Organization Questions Answered
 
 
Introduction
 
 
A charitable organization is an organization that relies on public, private sector or government support to provide social services, educational awareness and other causes to benefit society.  Charities may become tax exempt legal entities by meeting and sustaining the requirements for non-profit organizations.
 
 
What are some examples of charities?
 
 
The Salvation Army, Toys for Tots and the Make a Wish foundation are three examples of well known charities.  These organizations deal with a range of issues from homelessness, poverty and child welfare.  Most, but not all charities rely on public support through grants and donations to operate and provide for public benefit.  Charities can be faith-based, community-based and also have cultural and social motivations.  Catholic charities for example, have a length history as the second largest provider of social services in the United States.
 
 
Are all non-profit organizations also charities?
 
 
Non-profit organizations are tax exempt entities that under sector 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  These organizations must meet a strict organizational structure, refrain from political activities and maintain all of its profits and assets for charitable causes.  However, all non-profits are not charities.  Non -profit organizations may include private foundations, social welfare organizations, labor and agricultural associations, business leagues and fraternal beneficiary societies.  Not all nonprofits require public funding.  In fact, some organizations, such as foundations exist to distribute grants to other public charities.
 
 
What is a “non-operating” foundation?
 
 
Non-operating foundation generally refers to organizations that engage in charitable work through grant writing and distributing money to other organizations.  They are called this as they do not directly engage in the missions of their foundation but rather entrust other organizations to that duty.
 
 
How do I know if a charity is legitimate?
 
 
There are several not-for-profit organizations that act as watchdogs for charities and release non-biased ratings based on internal ranking criteria.  The Better Business Bureau also releases reports on safe giving and informs consumers of the risks associated with charitable giving. 
What are the benefits of charitable giving?
 
 
Aside from a sense of personal satisfaction, most charitable donations are tax deductible.  Many charities rely on public support to achieve their goals.
 
Source: http://nccs.urban.org/FAQ/index.cfm
 

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